New York City

Bill de Blasio Raised Funds for Sandanistas, Worked in Nicaragua in 1980s

Says it taught him how big you can get government

|

The scruffy young man who arrived in Nicaragua in 1988 stood out.

He was tall and sometimes goofy, known for his ability to mimic a goose's honk. He spoke in long, meandering paragraphs, musing on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Karl Marx and Bob Marley. He took painstaking notes on encounters with farmers, doctors and revolutionary fighters.

Bill de Blasio, then 26, went to Nicaragua to help distribute food and medicine in the middle of a war between left and right. But he returned with something else entirely: a vision of the possibilities of an unfettered leftist government.